Virat Kohli‘s is under pressure as he has failed with his performance in the ongoing series. Virat’s childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma has advised his student to avoid playing strokes square off the wicket initially in order to counter the swing, and it would definitely help him get back to form with a bang.
Coach Sharma told PTI on Thursday that Virat has six Test centuries and is too good a player to be kept quiet for a long time. He is having regular chats with him and have advised him to cut down on shots square off the wicket initially. He thinks Virat should concentrate on playing within the ‘V’ as it will help him counter the swing and seam movement easily.
India‘s batting hero in recent times, Kohli has so far scored only 34 runs in four innings with a top score of just 25 runs. Asked any specific shot that the coach has told Kohli to cut down on, Sharma in his reply said that he has instructed him to avoid playing the flick shot initially when the ball is swinging. He thinks Virat doesn’t need to change anything in his batting. Just play straight and the big knock is just round the corner.
For 49-year-old Sharma, who has first-class experience in cricket for Haryana, Kohli’s lack of runs hasn’t bothered him as he feels it was due to good deliveries rather than poor shots that has brought about his downfall.
The coach explained that Yes, he would have been worried had he been out playing a rank bad shot in these innings. But that has not been the case. Virat has got out to some extremely good deliveries bowled by top class Test bowlers. Take the Jimmy Anderson delivery in the first innings of the Lord’s Test. The ball swung in and then shaped away after pitching. Nine out of 10 batsmen would be out facing such delivery. It was a quality delivery.
Sharma also pointed out about his second innings dismissal where he was out shouldering arms to an incoming delivery from Liam Plunkett. If you have an idea about the Lord’s ground, Plunkett was operating up the slope. Sharma added that when someone is coming uphill, you don’t expect the ball to cut back sharply as it did. Just like a batsman wants to score, ditto for bowlers. England bowlers are bowling good deliveries at this level but coach thinks Virat is good enough to have an answer for these deliveries.
The coach feels that after the glorious success across all formats in last two to three years, there was bound to be a dip in Virat’s form, as every cricketer goes through that phase. Yes, Virat is also encountering the Law of Averages. Each cricketer has to go through this phase. This tests one’s mental strength and he knows that there is no need to tell you guys that Virat is a very strong kid mentally. He is not someone to get affected by two or three failures this were the exact words of Sharma, who will be flying to England before the start of the fourth Test at Old Trafford.
On reciprocating on other matters, the coach, who has known Virat since he was 10 years old, said that the cricketer’s relationship with Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma has not affected his game as the player is aware about his priorities. Sharma signed off by saying that he assures one and all that Virat knows what his priorities are. His focus is only on his game and nothing else affects his game. Also he is a 25-year-old boy who knows what he is doing. He is matured enough to handle his personal life and how to get out of this bad patch of form. If Virat feels relaxed by sharing his thoughts with a friend, he is entitled to do that and it will certainly not affect his game.